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Doubled US H-1B, L-1 Visa Charges Distressing Indian Firms

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The US Government allegedly seems to treat Indian IT firms as the hens that give golden eggs. No wonder, it continues to fleece them and levy heavy charges on H-1B and L-1 Visas, commonly used by Indian IT firms to usher in workers from India, for their business operations in the US.
According to a report, the additional costs for H-1B and L-1 Visas--which largely involved Indian owned groups in the US--came to an end on October 1 last year just to be brought back on December 19 the same year.
While the administration of the US has raised the cost for an H-1B Permit to $4,000, from $2,000, the L-1 visa cost was increased to $4,500 from $2,250. US President Barack Obama inked the bill into law on December 19, even as the law will fund a 9/11 healthcare act.

Before the bill becoming law, a group of Congressmen were reportedly taking measures to have the additional charges for the H-1B & L-1 Visas restored. Proposals were presented as component of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which duly funds health screenings and cures for the 9/11 first responders.

But, policy makers have extended the bill on a permanent basis with a view to produce the required funds, via enforcing extra fees across H-1B and L-1 Permits. Reportedly, the bill has been devised in such a manner that it would largely concern Indian IT groups.

Firms Run By Indians Giving Extra Charges For H-1B, L-1 Permits Since 2010

Several Indian IT organizations, since 2010, were forced to pay additional fees for an L-1A or L-1B Intra-company Transfer Visa or an H-1B Visa application, in the process, making a contribution of millions of dollars towards the cost of keeping watch over the US-Mexican border, to stop prohibited immigration.

Firms--employing 50 or above workers in the US, with 50% of their manpower in the nation on an H-1B or L-1 Visa--were subjected to the extra expenses.

Allegedly, the latest bill will have a comparable impact, having an effect on firms employing not less than half or 50% of workers on an H-1B or L-1 Visa, which tends to be big Indian held IT organizations.

It is alleged that the charges will affect the TCS and the Infosys the most.

While the US market accounts for above 60% of Infosys' takings, North America, which comprises the US, makes up roughly 50% of the total income of the TCS. Wipro & HCL Tech are additional big name IT firms which engender more than 50% of their income from the US. But, they tend to send fewer persons to the US on H-1B or L-1 Permits.

During 2014, nearly 70% of the 65,000 H-1B Permits obtainable were given to employees from India. Reportedly, TCS was the topmost player with 5,650, with Infosys (3,454) and Wipro (3,048) also making use of large figures of the well-liked visa.

As per the Nasscom President, visa costs for domestic IT business may rise to $400 million from $100 million per annum. The latest visa cost is applicable not just on visa petitions but re-issuance.


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